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Insignia Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
194 Reviews

Great Small Ship Experience - Happy Holidays

Insignia Cruise Review by BrocktonCruiser

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Dec 2019
  • Destination: the Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Penthouse Suite

We originally booked this cruise intending to spend the holidays visiting Cuba, but when those plans were disrupted we opted to stay on Insignia to visit the Caribbean. We are glad we did. Ports included St. Barths, Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and San Juan, Puerto Rico. We booked private tours ashore and enjoyed the ports.

It was our first time on Oceania, and on a cruise with so few passengers. We were unsure what to expect, but found the experience very pleasant. Due to the size of the ship, there was a lack of some excitement and entertainment options, but convenience, relaxation and service made up for that in our opinion. This is generally not a ship for kids or those wanting lots of options for shows and daytime fun. But, if you want a more relaxing experience, we found there were always plenty of comfortable lounges at the pool, the spa was very nice and there were many quiet nooks to read, including an impressive library. The casino is very small but we had a fun time there nonetheless.

The ship was recently renovated and was very nicely appointed. There were tasteful holiday decorations everywhere. Service was excellent. Boarding was quick and disembarking in ports was easy, given there were just over 600 passengers.

We stayed in a Penthouse level 3 cabin. It was spacious and comfortable. There was plenty of storage. The bathroom could have been a bit larger, but the shower was nice and storage was sufficient. The TV was very large with an excellent on demand entertainment system. We enjoyed several recent movies during the trip. Oceania keeps the mini bar stocked with non-alcoholic complimentary beverages and provides plenty of drinking water.

Service from our butler and room attendants was excellent.

Oceania prides itself on food, and we found that to be accurate. We enjoyed meals in the Main Dining, Italian and Steak House restaurants and were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the buffet - breakfast, lunch or dinner. The pool burger bar was an excellent lunch time option with made to order burgers and other sandwiches, as well as a nice salad bar and ice cream.

Overall, we were pleased enough with the Oceania experience to book another cruise for Spring on the slightly larger Riviera.

For us, we found the overall value good, given that many things are complimentary rather than upcharges, as on other cruise lines: specialty dining, internet, soft drinks, laundry for Penthouse guests.


BrocktonCruiser's Full Rating Summary
Cabin
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Penthouse Suite

Elegantly, yet comfortably, appointed. Bathroom a bit small, but functional and well organized with a large shower. The bed was comfortable. Plenty of closet and other storage space. Large HD TV, with good on demand entertainment options and other information guides. Butler and cabin service were excellent. Mini fridge was always stocked with preferred beverages. Afternoon canapes delivered daily. We opted for room service one night and it was nicely served by the butler.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

St. Barts

Although we were fascinated by the many elaborate and expensive yachts in the harbor, we found the upscale island to be to chi-chi for our taste. Since it was early afternoon when we went ashore, many shops were closed for extended lunch break. Tendering was a bit challenging due to sea conditions.

Had a great private 4 hour tour, including a stop at a rum factory and a visit to the ruins and museum commemorating the volcanic eruption that destroyed the original capital. Very lovely guide and an informative, fun trip through beautiful countryside.

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Nice vehicle, informative and personable local driver. We toured some beautiful scenery and photo opportunities.

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Very lovely local lady took us on a 4 hour journey around the island. We had multiple photo opportunities of stunning scenery, made a stop at local batik studio and a couple of craft stalls.

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San Juan

It was Christmas day and our port time was limited. We opted not to disembark, since we had visited the port several times and expected many things to be closed due to the holiday. Sailing in and out of San Juan is always impressive, though.

Great Stirrup Cay

This port was cancelled due to stormy weather and rough seas. The captain made a prudent decision. It was not a day for the beach, unfortunately.


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BrocktonCruiser
5 Reviews Written
31 Helpful Votes
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